Primary Source Collections Online

See the list of websites on the library’s home page.

With the help of the Lynchburg College Library staff, we have gathered a number of other excellent sites. We especially acknowledge the thorough research done by Ms. Ariel Myers; she alerted us to most of the sites below:

History Sourcebooks

Paul Halsall has compiled a number of sourcebooks of primary documents that are all accessible from this site. Of special interest for you will be the modern history, African, and women sourcebooks. The large numbers of documents in these sourcebooks are in the form of transcriptions or translations made by numerous individuals and are of varying degrees of accuracy.

Africa South of the Sahara: History: Primary Sources

An extensive collection of websites that provides access to primary documents. Many of the documents are available online, including a number of documents pertaining to African-American history. This page also includes secondary sources available on line and is part of a larger site with a vast number of sources concerning Africa.

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience

Produced by the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, In Motion: The African American Migration Experience, contains a wealth of primary images and texts, along with maps and educational materials, that “focus on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds.”

Minnesota Population Center Data Projects

You can access the following archival data on this website without charge: 1) an integrated series of representative samples drawn from the U.S. censuses of 1850 to 2000 and the Puerto Rican censuses of 1910 to 2000 as well as the American Community Survey (ACS) data from 2000 to 2006; 2) an integrated series of international census microdata samples; and 3) integrated data from the U.S. March Current Population Survey.

American Women’s History: A Research Guide

See especially the sections on “Research Tools: Finding Primary Sources” and “Digital Collections of Primary Sources: Subject Index.”

The Library of Congress American Memory Project

Part of the Library of Congress website, this page offers access to thousands of sources, including many digitized copies of original documents and images pertaining to all aspects of American history. Among the collections that may be particularly important for your research are African American history, immigration/American expansion, Native American history, presidents, war/military, and women’s history.

The Library of Congress Digital Collections and Services

The Library of Congress’s home page for digital sources, this site explains the work of the library in digitizing sources and provides access to a vast array of digitized print, pictorial, and audio-visual collections and other digital services, including historical newspapers, international collections, legislative records, veterans’ history and over one million digitized prints and photographs.

Digital History

A searchable database of primary source documents pertaining mainly to American history, including court cases, historic newspapers, landmark documents, and social history. You can browse over 600 annotated documents from the Gilder Lehrmann Collection. There is also a section entitled “Ethnic Voices,” including Asian Americans, enslaved voices, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans.

The Avalon Project of Yale Law School

Copies of many of the most important texts pertaining to law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy, human rights, and government. The texts that appear here were scanned and have been checked carefully for accuracy.

American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement

“More than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration. . . from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.”

Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored De Bry Engravings of 1590

Engravings based on the watercolors of John White, here digitized from a rare hand-colored copy of the book.

The North Carolina Collection

Digital collections in the University of North Carolina Library, including Southern history and culture, Southern Jewish history, sterograph and photograph collections.

The Florida Memory Project

“The Florida Memory Project presents a selection of historical records that illustrate significant moments in Florida history. . .and archival collections for historical research.” Includes Spanish land grants.

The American Colonist’s Library: A Treasury of Primary Documents

“A massive collection of the literature and documents which were most relevant to the colonists’ lives in America.”

AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History

Maintained by the History Gateway at Kansas; part of the WWW Virtual Library.

EURODOCS: Online Sources for European History

Selected transcriptions, facsimiles, and translations.

The Digital Website of the French National Library

This site provides free public access to digitized images of the seminal editions, dictionaries, and periodicals in the Bibliothèque Nationale; most of them are facsimile images of the books and documents, but approximately 1250 are in the form of searchable texts. A collection of iconographic sources includes photos, coins, and illuminated manuscripts.

British National Archives

This collection of select digitized documents from the British National Archives is accessible to the public on line. Searching the index is free, but there is a £3.50 for downloading each image. On the larger British Archive site, of which this site is a part, you can find complete information about the contents of the Archives and advice for using the Archives for your research.

British Royal Geographical Society Image Collection

A collection of thousands of images in the archives of the British Royal Geographical Society available for public access. You can browse images by subject or search the index and view the images on line.

British History Online

“Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.”

British National Archives Documents on Line

The British National Archives continues to digitize parts of its holdings. The topics are varied and include wills, World War I and II records, ancient petitions, and legal documents. Access is free, and you can search and browse.

The Proceedings of Old Bailey London, 1674-1834

“A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.” Texts of an additional ca. 100,000 trials from 1834 to 1913 will be added soon. Both digitized facsimile images and re-keyed digitized texts are provided for all the documents.